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President Barack Obama spoke to a group of Kellogg students on the Northwestern campus on Oct. 2.

President Barack Obama

Obama to Kellogg: Business is the future

The president spoke on the economy to Kellogg students on Northwestern’s campus

By Paul Dailing

Speaking to an assembly of Kellogg students, President Barack Obama on Thursday, Oct. 2, said the business leaders of tomorrow are the key to a strong economy.

"There is a reason why I came to a business school instead of a school of government," Obama said. "I actually believe capitalism is the greatest force for prosperity and opportunity that the world has ever known."

Obama called for Kellogg students, as future business leaders, to pursue mindful growth.

“As you engage in the pursuit of profit, as you should, I challenge you to do it with a sense of purpose,” Obama said. “As you chase your own success, as we want you to do, I challenge you to cultivate ways to help more Americans chase theirs.”

'A clear-eyed look’

Obama, who delivered the commencement address for the Class of ’06, said he wanted Thursday’s speech to be “a clear-eyed look at our economy.”

In a speech that touched on issues including education, health care and energy, the president also spoke on the importance of parity for women in business, praising Dean Sally Blount '92 for her work in this area.

"Let's do what Dean Blount is doing here at Kellogg," Obama said, speaking of Blount's work with the White House.

He also called out Northwestern’s commitment to nanotechnology, which has helped produce startups such as lithium-ion battery maker SiNode Systems.

‘All in this together’

“But I also believe in a higher principle: we're all in this together,” Obama said. “That's the spirit that made the American economy not just the world's greatest wealth creator, but the world's greatest opportunity generator.”

The speech at Cahn Auditorium reflected the president’s desire to spread his message to the students who will be at the forefront of tomorrow’s growth.

“This is a university that is brimming with the possibility of the new economy,” Obama said as he began his address. “You can’t help but visit a campus like this and feel the promise of the future.”